German economy gets more good news
13 November 2003 , WIESBADEN - Following a series of some mildly upbeat indicators and projections, Germany got official word Thursday that its economy is slowly waking up from its near-catatonic state, with third-quarter GDP up 0.2 percent from the second quarter.
13 November 2003
WIESBADEN - Following a series of some mildly upbeat indicators and projections, Germany got official word Thursday that its economy is slowly waking up from its near-catatonic state, with third-quarter GDP up 0.2 percent from the second quarter.
The Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden, in its first calculations of the gross domestic product, said strong export performance is what gave Europe's largest economy a boost in the July-September period.
The office said there was no calendar effect since the number of working days was the same in both third quarters.
"The increase in economic performance in the third quarter of 2003 on the previous quarter was characterised by a strong increase of exports and a decrease of imports, which resulted in a clear rise of the export surplus (net exports)," the office said.
But the increase in the export surplus was not enough to offset a drop in domestic demand, so that the overall year-on-year decline was 0.2 per cent, the report said.
It said that the economic performance in the third quarter of 2003 was achieved by 38.3 million job-holders, a drop of 479,000 persons or 1.2 per cent from the same period last year.
The office also slightly revised downwards its second quarter GDP. This meant that the second quarter GDP slipped by 0.2 percent from the first quarter, instead of 0.1 percent as the office initially reported.
The Wiesbaden office's report follows by a day the projections given by the "Five Wise Men" - the economic advisory panel to the Berlin government - in which Germany's economy is to rise by at least 1.5 percent, and possibly 1.7 percent, in 2004.
The panel's forecast was also predicated on exports being the chief contributing factor in the German economic performance next year.
Any hopes for domestic demand, particularly private consumption, giving a boost to the economy now rest on whether the Berlin government can move up the timetable to slash taxes to provide private households with more disposable income.
Prior to the Five Wise Men's report, an important indicator of a brightening mood in Germany came on Tuesday, when the Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research reported a sharp rise in investor confidence.
The "ZEW" index, a survey of 308 institutional investors and analysts, shot up to 67.2 points in November, from 60.3 points the month before. The surprised many analysts who had been expecting the ZEW index to rise to around 65 points.
Subject: German news